Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Comings and Goings

Monday Night Football

College football fans got a rare Monday night game on Labor Day, since NFL action doesn't start until Thursday.

I didn't really have
a dog in the fight, but Florida State's 45-34 win over Mississippi wasn't as much fun for me as an Ole Miss win would have been.

It was an anti-climactic end to what was at best a so-so weekend of football for me.
At least the brats and baked beans I had were quite satisfying.

On the Road Again

Having completed a disappointing 2-4 homestand that pushed them to the fringes
of the playoff chase, my beloved Kansas City Royals hit the road to begin a six-game swing against the Twins and White Sox. They got the trip off to a winning start yesterday afternoon, beating the Twins 11-5 at Target Field.

Now 10-9, 3.76 ERA
Royals starter Ian Kennedy was not as sharp as he has been recently, giving up four runs on nine hits in just 5 1/3 innings. Good enough.

Relievers Peter Moylan, Brian Flynn, Brooks Pounders, and Scott Alexander only gave up a single run over the final 3 2/3 innings (Brian Dozier's third home run of the game in the 8th inning) to secure Kennedy's 10th win of the season.

The Royals, who trailed 1-0 and 4-2 early on, took the lead for good on DH Kendrys Morales's three-run homer in the top of the 5th inning.

All-Star 1B Eric Hosmer was 2-for-3 with four RBIs, three of them on a home run in the 8th inning that put the game out of reach. CF Jarrod Dyson chipped in three hits in five at-bats, with three runs scored.

"They won in a blowout, why are you so gloomy?"

Because all of the teams they're behind in the standings won, too...that's the problem with having so many teams ahead of you...odds that you can overtake them all are pretty slim...

Another Series Finale

Yesterday evening the final episode 
of the popular TV series Rizzoli & Isles aired on TNT. The series was based on characters created by mystery novelist Tess Gerritsen. I was a fan of the show, and I'm going to miss it.

It is likely that I'd never have seen 
the show had it not been for one of my students at Atlantic High School who was a HUGE Tess Gerritsen fan and who introduced me to her mystery novels in 2009.

The show, which starred Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, two of my favorite TV actresses, debuted as 
a summer series in 2010. It eventually aired 105 episodes over its seven-season run, and was one of the landmark scripted dramas in cable TV history.

"Wow. Losing two of your TV crushes at once has to sting."

That's why God created syndicated reruns...

Real-Life Iron Man

On September 6, 1995 Cal Ripken, Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's major league baseball record for consecutive games played, playing in his 2,131st straight game. That record had stood for 56 years, and before Ripken came along
it was considered as unbreakable as
Joe DiMaggio's legendary consecutive game hitting streak.

I had just begun teaching again after
a short hiatus, and the freshman boys
I was teaching at Bishop LeBlond were very excited about the event. The game had been televised, of course, and it turned out to be the second-most- watched baseball game in history.

The Wheaties box Ripken got out of the deal quickly became a collector's item, and can still be found for sale on eBay and other sites that cater to collectors.

21st Century Teenage Crisis

From the droll comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Although having a hit record is generally the province of well-known artists, from time to time a relatively obscure group manages to catch lightning in a bottle. That was certainly the case for Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys, whose scored a million-seller in 2006 almost by accident.

The band's first recording of "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" had been released as the "B" side of their single "The Fields of Atherny" in 2004, but it didn't make much of a splash.

In 2006, the band re-recorded the song and included it on their album The Warrior's Code. This was this version of the song that became their biggest success. Even though it never cracked the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, it sold over a million copies and received a platinum certification from RIAA.

The song was used extensively
in the Best Picture-winning film  
The Departed (as well as an episode of The Simpsons that parodied the movie), which significantly boosted sales of the record.

The song is now played before kickoff at Notre Dame home football games, and the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team plays it at their home games just prior to overtime periods. Composer James S. Levine adapted the song to be the theme for Rizzoli & Isles in 2010.

Today's send-off is an instrumental version of the song. Enjoy...

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